Current Transmissions

It’s a bird, it’s a plane … it’s Shelf Porn!

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Hello and welcome to Shelf Porn, where we take you into the home of one unsuspecting fan. Actually they send us these pics; the other way would likely result in an arrest.

Anywho, today’s shelves come from Steve M., who shows us his comics, statues and more. “I bought a house and the girlfriend allowed me to take one of the rooms,” Steve told ROBOT 6. “I tried to make the standout Superman in the room, but I collect a lot of other DC and spawn stuff. It’s still an ongoing process, but I think it’s coming along all right.”

Check it out below.

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The Fifth Color | A new age for Ultron

age of ultron posterWe’ve all seen the teaser trailer for Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, right? If you haven’t, then please check it out below, and enjoy the sweet, sinister sounds of James Spader (that man could give the evilest recitation of the phone book in history). To be perfectly honest, though, considering how well the first movie did, Robert Downey Jr. could have come out against a black screen and say “Hey everyone! We’re doing a new movie!” and I would have already been in line to see Avengers 2: More Avengering.

But no! Marvel is determined to further expand its cinematic universe by reaching into its history to introduce an amazing villain in the evil robot Ultron. Putting his name front is a bit risky considering the name doesn’t ring a lot of bells for the average moviegoer, but then again, neither did Iron Man once upon a time. Besides, Age of Ultron is such a killer title. The idea of an “Age” of anything makes the danger seem long-term, and Ultron is an amazingly villainous name, with a really scary face to go with it. The idea of an evil robot isn’t lost on the general public, and when you tell them he’s like Skynet with daddy issues, the concept is pretty clear.

Mind you, I wouldn’t blame you if that’s not the first thing you think of when you hear “Age of Ultron.” Some comics might even groan.

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This weekend, it’s the Locust Moon Comics Festival

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If you’re a comics fan who happens to be in the Philadelphia area on Saturday, you’ll not want to miss the third annual Locust Moon Comics Festival.

Held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the The Rotunda in West Philadelphia (4014 Walnut St.), the event features an impressive guest list that includes Bill Sienkiewicz, Paul Pope, Denis Kitchen, J.G. Jones, Farel Dalrymple, Dave Bullock, Box Brown, Nathan Fox, Dean Haspiel, Rebecca Mock, Dave Bullock, Tom Scioli, José Villarrubia, Benjamin Marra and Ronald Wimberly.

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Read the $3.2 million copy of ‘Action Comics’ #1 online

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Even if you didn’t make it to New York Comic Con, you can still view the pristine copy of Action Comics #1 that fetched a record $3.2 million at auction — every single page of it.

Certified Guaranty Company, which graded the copy 9.0, has a digital version of the entire issue, which contained not only the landmark 13-page story by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster that introduced Superman, but also 10 other tales. The debuts of Zatara and Tex Thompson have been overshadowed by the Man of Steel, and the rest of the contents — “Chuck Dawson,” “Sticky-Mitt Stimpson,” etc. — are now little more than footnotes, but they’re still of historical interest.

Also, if you want a general idea of what a 76-year-old comic worth $3.2 million actually looks like … let’s face it, this is probably your only chance. The viewer on the CGC website is actually pretty decent, too, allowing you to zoom in to read the text and study the art.

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Quote of the Day | ‘The shackles are off. Go.’

beetle-booster“There’s a loosening up, and this is kind of current, at both companies in terms of what each company considers a comic, which is a ridiculous thing to say, because a comic is basically what sells. That’s a good comic. Dick Giordano hated, hated, hated Lobo — hated the character, hated the book — hated him. But he understood that Lobo was a popular character, not his cup of tea, so he wasn’t constantly after me to change and conform to his way.

That was, for a while, the way comics were being run. If the editor didn’t like the direction a book was going, it didn’t matter how well it sold — they’d get in there and start pinching and tweaking and fucking it up. But lately — and I know this for a fact, I’ve talked to people who actually make these decisions — it’s loosening up. It’s really loosening up. They’re actually saying, ‘You know what? You’re always saying, “If I was left alone, I would do this and this and this. I’d make this book popular.” Fine. The shackles are off. Go.’

I love that. I absolutely love that. I think if you’re willing to go after it, I think comics are loosening up a little bit; the way they approach the market, the kind of stories they’re doing, the kind of characters they’re willing to put in their books. This is just, I’d say, within the last year that I’m feeling this. A couple of years before that — as soon as last year — they were pretty horrible.”

Justice League 3000 writer Keith Giffen, identifying a relatively recent loosening of the creative reins by DC Comics, and by Marvel

I.N.J. Culbard to adapt ‘The King in Yellow’ for SelfMadeHero

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Celeste cartoonist I.N.J. Culbard is adapting The King in Yellow, the 1895 short-story collection by Robert W. Chambers that received renewed attention this year because of the HBO crime drama True Detective.

Culbard revealed the cover for the 144-page graphic novel, set to be released in May by U.K. publisher SelfMadeHero.

Chambers’ collection of 10 supernatural tales takes its title from a fictional forbidden play mentioned in four stories that drives anyone who reads it to despair or madness. H.P. Lovecraft was influenced by The King in Yellow, and borrowed some of its elements for his own work.

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Download a collection of Jason Latour’s life drawings for free

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At this stage of his career, Jason Latour is respected equally for his writing (12 Gauge’s Loose Ends; Marvel’s Wolverine and the X-Men and the upcoming Spider-Gwen) and his art (too many to list, but most recently and notably his collaboration with Jason Aaron on Image’s Southern Bastards).

And on Thursday my fellow Southerner revealed a healthy dose of our region’s patented hospitality by offering fans a free download of Erase (Erase), his 42-page collection of life drawings and studies from 2006 to 2011.

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Wacom announces digital comics anthology

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Wacom, whose tablets and digital pens are essential tools for countless artists, has revealed plans for its first digital comics anthology.

Announced by Caleb Goellner, who recently joined the company from ComicsAlliance, the project is built around the rather fitting theme of “pressure/sensitivity,” with creator-owned stories by Meredith Gran, Ming Doyle, Giannis Milonogiannis and another artist to be announced. Ulises Farinas illustrated the cover.

The 32-page comic will be available for free online in January, with an eventual limited-edition print version teased.

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Halloween ComicFest to haunt comic shops this weekend

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On Saturday, comic shops across North America and around the world will celebrate Halloween ComicFest, which has taken on the dimensions of a second Free Comic Book Day. This is a relatively new event — the first was held in 2012 — but according to the HCF website, more than 1,400 stores participated last year, attracting 100,000 customers. The event is run by a group of retailers, publishers and suppliers, with Diamond Comic Distributors handling publicity and a lot of the logistics.

This year’s comics lindup includes 12 full-size comics and seven minicomics, although all retailers may not offer all titles. It looks like most of the comics are repackaged first issues of series that have been around for a little while, like Afterlife With Archie, Rachel Rising and Scooby-Doo Team-Up — all fitting choices for Halloween reading. Zenoscope offers a reprint of its first Halloween Special, and Avatar Press has the first issue of Max Brooks’ Extinction Parade.

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Comics A.M. | Roz Chast wins Kirkus Prize for nonfiction

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Roz Chast

Awards | The winners of the first Kirkus Prize were announced last night, and Roz Chast took top honors in the nonfiction category for her graphic memoir Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? Chast is also a finalist for the National Book Award, marking the first time a graphic novel has been nominated in one of the adult categories. [The Washington Post]

Legal | A Turkish court acquitted cartoonist Musa Kart on charges of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, stemming from a cartoon Kart drew last year portraying the then-prime minister as complicit in covering up government corruption. “Yes, I drew it [the cartoon] but I did not mean to insult,” Kart said. “I just wanted to show the facts. Indeed, I think that we are inside a cartoon right now. Because I am in the suspect’s seat while charges were dropped against all the suspects [involved in two major graft scandals]. I need to say that this is funny.” If convicted, Kart could have faced nearly a decade in prison. [Today's Zaman]

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Grumpy Old Fan | New year, old habits from DC in January

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Although the first issues of Who’s Who and Crisis \on Infinite Earths got a headstart in the closing months of 1984, January 1985 kicked off DC Comics’ 50th anniversary in earnest. No doubt real life — i.e., the DC offices’ upcoming westward move — is preventing the publisher from starting the 80th anniversary celebrations this January, and the solicitations certainly don’t have much in the way of commemoration.

(To be sure, the month’s variant-cover scheme involves the 75th anniversary of The Flash, which Robot 6 contributor J. Caleb Mozzocco has already covered extensively on his own blog.)

Therefore, while the real fireworks will probably have to wait another couple of months, the January solicitation tease the return of Robin, changes in the Super-status quo, and other various and sundry plot churning.

LOOKING AHEAD

One thing that jumps out at me from these solicits has to do with numbering. Now, we all love numbering — big versus small, gimmicks versus straightforward integer progression — but the January books are soliciting the 38th issues of the remaining original New 52 titles. That puts the 50th issues of those series on track for January 2016; or, more likely, February 2016, if next September is another “take a break for a set of specials” month. If I were DC and wanted to relaunch my various titles, and I were a year away from a set of 50th issues, I’d probably wait a year.

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HISHE targets ‘Man of Steel,’ ‘Winter Soldier,’ more in bonus video

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The folks at How It Should Have Ended produce a lot of videos suggesting “fixes” for blockbusters ranging from Iron Man 3 to Frozen to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But all of the scenes don’t necessarily make it into the final product, which brings us to this newly released “Bonus Bundle.”

“Often we write too many sketches when creating a HISHE and some scenes get left out,” they explain. “Sometimes they are cut because it didn’t fit the flow of the main video. Sometimes they are cut because they aren’t finished in time. Well rather than let them collect dust we bundled them all together in one collection so you can see those extra scenes that might have been.”

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Before there was ‘Riverdale,’ there was this ‘gritty’ Archie parody

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The announcement today that Greg Berlanti is developing a drama for Fox called Riverdale, is certainly big news, if not entirely unexpected, given some of Archie Comics’ recent ambitions. Written by Chief Creative Officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the series promises both the wholesome Riverdale readers have come to expect over the past seven decades and the “surrealistic twists of small-town life plus the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath.”

But before this Riverdale, there was another that featured just that: Longtime readers may recall the 2011 parody trailer of the same name that perfectly lampooned both Archie Comics and the tropes of teen melodramas.

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DC heroes juice up with French drink brand

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French manufacturer Orangina Schweppes has partnered with DC Entertainment to produce special cans for its Oasis fruit-drink brand featuring some of the publisher’s most iconic superheroes.

According to The Ephemerist, the promotion is tied to the 75th anniversary of Batman, here portrayed by Mangue Debol. He’s joined by Ramon Tafraise as The Flash, Fambougeoise as Wonder Woman and  Orange Presslé as Superman. It’s worth noting that all four heroes seem to be wearing a variation of their New 52 costumes, which don’t often appear in licensing efforts.

You can see closeups at Geek Art.

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Magnetic Press to release ‘Poet’ from Blink-182’s Tom DeLonge

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Magnetic Press has announced Poet, a three-issue miniseries created by Blink-182 and Angels & Airwaves frontman Tom DeLonge.

Written by DeLonge and Ben Kull (Mission Hill, The Oblongs) and illustrated by Djet Stéphane, the sci-fi fantasy adventure debuts in the spring, serving as a prequel to the animated short Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker, which will receive wide release Dec. 9 alongside the new Angels & Airwaves album The Dream Walker. A full-length feature is also being developed.

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